News24

Iran guards kill over 50 Kurd rebels

2011-07-27 17:22

Tehran - Iran's Revolutionary Guards have killed more than 50 rebels from the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK) since beginning an assault nearly two weeks ago and will continue the operation until Iraq takes control of the region, media reported on Wednesday.

"During the past weeks' operations more than 50 anti-revolutionary elements were killed, around 100 wounded and a number were taken prisoner," a top commander in northwestern Iran was quoted as saying.

"Our offensive against the American anti-revolutionaries of PJAK will continue along the Iranian border with Iraq in the north until the central government in Iraq and Kurdistan region ... deploy police and military forces along the mutual border," the unnamed commander added.

He charged that for "years a 150 by 20km area has been allocated by the Kurdish region to the American anti-revolutionaries of PJAK without the central government's knowledge".

On July 16, Iranian troops launched a major offensive against PJAK bases, losing at least eight Guards, including a senior officer, in clashes on the border.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said on Monday the fighting has displaced hundreds of villagers in the border regions of northern Iraq.

The autonomous regional government in Iraqi Kurdistan has demanded that Iran respect the border after a Guards commander said Iranian forces had taken "full control" of three PJAK camps inside Iraq.

Tehran on Saturday called on Berlin to put on trial the leader of a Kurdish rebel movement, Rahman Haji Ahmadi, who reportedly lives in Germany.

Haji Ahmadi's PJAK rebels operate out of bases in Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region, and have been involved in deadly clashes with Iranian troops for many years.

Iranian forces, in return, have repeatedly shelled border districts of their neighbour's Kurdish region, targeting PJAK bases.